Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana today announced the appointment of a special select committee to probe actions of a media institution which is the first of its kind during recent times.
The select committee is chaired by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, while other members are Suren Raghavan, Gayantha Karunatilake, Anura Priyadarashana Yapa, Vajira Abeywardene, Nimal Lansa and M. A. Sumanthiran.
The select committee is expected to investigate incidents of infringement of the MPs and Parliament privileges as a whole and to make suitable recommendations in this regard.
“Whereas the President, Prime Minister and Members of Parliament agreed on November 23, 2022 on the floor of the House to meet representatives of all parties and discuss the ways and means to resolve the national issue so that people of this country could live in harmony, and it is to be investigated whether privileges of members of Parliament and the Parliament is infringed by the comments made in a program which went on the air in a private TV channel on November 24, 25th and 27th and suitable recommendations should be made,” the resolution read.
The chair person and the members of the select committee approved by the Speaker as per the resolution whereas it will have the power to decide on its quorum, to summon any person to appear before it, obtain the services of specialists if needed, present reports from time to time and sit notwithstanding the adjournment or prorogation of the House.
Earlier Parliament dealt with a media institution by converting the House into a court to probe Sunday Observer Editor Harold Peiris and Associate Editor Philip Coorey in the 1980s.
A commission was appointed by Late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike to probe Lake House. The Commission recommended the broad base of its ownership. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)